Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-188-000"

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"While democratic progress in the Arab world should be encouraged, the strategic interests of the EU should not be endangered. The events in Tunisia and Egypt proved that autocracy is not a solution. Nevertheless, the same events do not guarantee a democratic outcome. Recent history showed that democratic revolutions can be hijacked by well organised, militant Islam. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 is a famous example of democratic upheaval that turned autocratic. We should strike a fine balance between the social policies of President Mubarak and Egypt’s strategic line. Egypt is a resilient ally, it joined the forces that liberated Kuwait and ensured more than 30 years of peace with Israel. There is hope and there is danger in the ongoing events in Egypt. The demonstrators and their legitimate demands are a genuine expression of the need to open debate. But there is massive potential for oppressive behaviour, practices and policies within Egyptian society. Female circumcision, approval for public executions, torture and strict interpretation of Islamic law are widespread. The Muslim Brotherhood is openly promoting this agenda and is credited with 20% of the electoral preferences. Caution should be exercised now if democracy is to have a future in Egypt."@en1

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